Marco Pallanti, the new president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium (Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), wrote me this letter in Italian last week following a blog post I wrote on his region. I thought you would find the letter (translated, of course) interesting to read: Dear James, I feel honored to receive your approval for my new position, and I thank you for the extremely nice words you said about me.
Couple nights ago, my buddy Thomas and his Korean friends hosted a dinner at the restaurant below my house for a dozen or so Italian wine producers, from Tuscany and Piedmont. It’s become an annual event with people attending like Lamberto Frescobaldi, Giacomo Neri of Casanova di Neri, Leonardo Raspini of Ornellaia, Enrico and Enrica Scavino, Luigi Scavino of Azelia, Carlo Revello…you get the idea.
You have to be careful leaving open olive-oil bottles on the dinner table, especially late at night and when the olive-oil bottles look like wine bottles. Last night, my buddy Thomas and his two Korean girlfriends came for dinner.
Talk about “brutta figura” -- making a bad impression, as Italians say. I was at a birthday party last night in Castiligone della Pescaia for a very pretty friend of mine. About 20 of us came for her 39th -- again.
A couple of days ago Marco Pallanti was named the new president of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium (Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico), which boasts that it represents 96 percent of the bottled wine of the region.
The other night I was at a friend’s summer rental house located near my home at Il Borro near Arezzo. We were having dinner by the pool, and some local carabinieri walked down the driveway. I was a bit worried at first.
Gave my “O”s another go last night with a dinner “al fresco” with my ex-wife and children. She commented how I had some “lovely new water glasses…” These glasses sort of grow on you. I served a slightly chilled bottle of 2003 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone Vigna Vecchia with a frittata and green salad.
Just had my first experience with the Riedel “O” glass. It was the Sauvignon Blanc model. I had a barbeque tonight at my house in Tuscany with my children, Jack, 11, and Isabel, 8. We had grilled sausages and a tomato and cucumber salad – no big deal on a hot and steamy Tuscan night.
It seemed almost too good to be true. A few weeks ago I came across a magnum of Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 1989 for 435 euros on the wine list of a mega-buck restaurant, Tantris, in Munich.
I've just learned that the owner of Bordeaux first growth Château Latour, fashion magnate François Pinault, signed an agreement last week to buy close to 16 acres of prime Burgundy vineyards, planted to Pinot Noir and all near the town of Vosne-Romanée.
Football (soccer) is life in Italy. I am sitting in Castilgone della Pescia on the coast of Tuscany with some friends, and I can hear the horns of cars and the screams of people. Everyone is so happy here! Italy is the champion of the world tonight.
I went to visit winemaker Bibi Graetz of Testamatta yesterday in the hills above Florence near the town of Fiesole. Bibi, 38, is a cool winemaker and is producing some exciting reds from classic Tuscan varietals such as Sangiovese, Colorino and Canaiolo.
Visited the Ferrari factory in Maranello for July 4th with a couple of friends who were picking up their F430 convertibles and then driving to Le Mans for the 24-hour race – lucky guys! During a lunch at the factory, I was shocked to hear that they wouldn’t be buying any 2005 Bordeaux futures.
Had a couple of friends over for dinner last night and sat outside in the patio drinking a couple of Barolos with a grilled pork loin and parsley salad. The wines were 1997 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito and 1996 Paolo Scavino Barolo Cannubi.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions